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Old 11-07-2001, 11:01 PM   #1
Witch King of Angmar
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Sting Morgoth v. Sauron

Who do you think was stronger: Morgoth or Sauron?

I think Morgoth was much stronger than Sauron, even when Sauron has his precious ring. For Morgoth, or rather Melkor, was one of the Ainur, the Holy Ones, the offspring of his thought.

Melkor has incredible power yet some think that with his ring Sauron was stronger than Melkor. Melkor was a god practically.

Quote:
The mightiest of the Ainur who came into the World was in his beginning Melkor...
--The Silmarillion

Sauron was merely the lieutenant of Melkor who ran Melkor's fortress Angband. Sauron learned a great wealth of knowledge from Melkor. Melkor created the entire race of Orcs -- a mockery of elves -- to do his bidding.
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Old 11-08-2001, 12:16 PM   #2
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Question

Just a rather silly question: why did you ask your question? You already have the correct answer formulated.
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Old 11-08-2001, 06:22 PM   #3
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JRRT said that while Sauron was far 'smaller' by natural stature, he was 'greater' in the Second Age than Morgoth (who had expended much of his power) was at the _end_ of the First Age (see HoME 10).
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Old 11-08-2001, 06:50 PM   #4
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Sting

What book was that from?
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Old 11-08-2001, 09:00 PM   #5
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HoME 10, Morgoth's Ring, Notes on motives in the Silmarillion (pg. 394).
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Old 11-09-2001, 06:47 PM   #6
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Melkor was a Vala, Sauron only a Maia. Melkor was much stronger that Sauron, it was he who made the dragon, balrogs, orcs and trolls. Sauron couldn't do that.
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Old 11-10-2001, 02:41 AM   #7
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Sting

That's correct Elrian, but after making Orcs, Trolls, Dragons and all other nasty stuff in the world, Melkor was weaker in effective personal power than Sauron. He had had to let so much of himself pass into his corruptions that without their help, he was actually relatively weak. He was, for example, susceptible to the spells of a half-maia - not exactly what I would expect from the most powerful of all the Ainur.

Sauron, on the other hand, didn't have to expend any of his personal power to corrupt the matter of Arda - Melkor had done it for him, and all he had to do was to 'tap' this power.
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Old 11-10-2001, 01:51 PM   #8
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Silmaril

Mandos also was charmed with the song of Luthien. i don't remember Tolkien saying anything about Melkor becoming weak in the Sil though. He was the strongest of the Vala. Sauron may have in some way inherited Or gained some of Melkor's power ( from some source left behind)in the Second age. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 11-10-2001, 02:37 PM   #9
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Then perhaps a more careful reading of the Silmarillion is necesary, paying particular attention to the passages noting the dispersion of Morgoth's power. Then read JRRT's statement as published in Morgoth's Ring that Sauron was greater (at his height of power) than Morgoth (at his lowest, while still free). JRRT being the author would know.
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Old 11-11-2001, 09:19 AM   #10
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How can you even compare Morgoth ot Sauron?!

Sauron let a measely hobbit sneak into his kingdom to destroy the most precious relic in all of Middle Earth.


Morgoth would have never let that happen.
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Old 11-11-2001, 11:24 AM   #11
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But he did let a guy and his girlfriend sneak in and steal a Silmaril [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 11-11-2001, 11:55 AM   #12
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Pfft that's different. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

They looked like animals!!! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-11-2001, 02:20 PM   #13
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So just what do you think the hobbits looked like, toasters? Sauron did at least know they were there, even if he didn't understand what they were doing until it was too late.

Besides, might doesn't always make right, or wrong, or whatever your purpose in being is. It's the smallest snakes that have the most deadly poison...or the little pebble that trips up the runner, rather than the boulder that he just avoids.

Man just thinking about this has my brain contemplating enough theories for a dissertation! To bad I can't major in Middle-Earth History and Culture...
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Old 11-11-2001, 02:27 PM   #14
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Sting

---------
Asks Esil the Elf:
How can you even compare Morgoth ot Sauron?!
------------------

It's really easy considering that JRRT did, and wrote an essay (or more) explaining the comparison, and why and how.
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Old 11-11-2001, 03:12 PM   #15
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Sting

He was just trying to make money. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 11-11-2001, 03:48 PM   #16
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I hope you're at least partly joking. Because money was not the reason he spent most of his life creating Arda.
Even if it was, I doubt a mere essay about M v S would have gotten very much.
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Old 11-12-2001, 04:23 AM   #17
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Sting

Just to add to Tar Elenion. In his letters Tolkien also stated that Sauron at the end of the Second Age was stronger that Morgoth was in the First Age.

But he never stated that: "Sauron was stronger at the end of the Second Age that Morgoth ever was" Personally I think that Morgoth in the first AGES of time before the awakening of the elves when Arda was made - was stronger, by far.

Morgoths problem was that he had become a power of hatred - he only wanted to destroy everything - he used his power to create and control monsters - and letting power go from himself into their being. Sauron on the other hand didn't nessesarely want to destroy only - but rather wanted to dominate the minds and wills of others - which is perfectly shown in his creation of the rings + he let his own power go into the one Ring not into other beings - which perfectly proves why he was stronger that Morgoth...

Cheers Telchar
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Old 11-14-2001, 07:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tar Elenion:
<STRONG>Then perhaps a more careful reading of the Silmarillion is necesary, paying particular attention to the passages noting the dispersion of Morgoth's power. Then read JRRT's statement as published in Morgoth's Ring that Sauron was greater (at his height of power) than Morgoth (at his lowest, while still free). JRRT being the author would know.</STRONG>
These were versions of stories that Christopher compiled into books. Not all of them hold up against the finished version.
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Old 11-15-2001, 08:45 AM   #19
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Elrian, I'm afraid you have the textual history backwards.

The texts found in the latest volumes of the History of Middle-Earth series are the latest pieces of text JRRT wrote about Middle-Earth. Cristopher gives them completely unaltered: he even refuses to change words which are obviously false (such as Fingolfin in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad - that should obviously be Fingon) or to insert words which obviously belong there.

The published Silmarillion, on the other hand, is by no means the finished version JRRT was aiming for. It was pieced together by Cristopher, most often using the latest stories but sometimes he had to fall back to older stories (Fall of Gondolin) or even make up some stuff (Fall of Doriath). This is because JRRT was constantly rewriting the texts and so they often became inconsistent with each other. Cristopher also had to combine two separate texts, Quenta Silmarillion and the Grey Annals, into one. All this often leads to confusion and problems when trying to find out where a phrase or a passage in the published Silmarillion really comes from.
(Not that Cristopher didn't do a good job - I really like the version because of its internal consistency, but sometimes it just is confusing people about the latest intentions of JRRT.)

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Elenhin ]
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Old 11-20-2001, 03:14 PM   #20
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I would have to agree with Telchar, our stone hearted dwarf. It is not so much a question of who is more powerful, but how they used thier power and for what purpose. Sauron learned from his masters errors and used his power to bend the will of others to achieve his ends. In this respect, he was much more effective.

In the end however they both fell victum to the same trap... putting thier power into external things... and of course thier overwelming pride.
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Old 11-20-2001, 08:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elenhin:
<STRONG>Elrian, I'm afraid you have the textual history backwards.

The texts found in the latest volumes of the History of Middle-Earth series are the latest pieces of text JRRT wrote about Middle-Earth. Cristopher gives them completely unaltered: he even refuses to change words which are obviously false (such as Fingolfin in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad - that should obviously be Fingon) or to insert words which obviously belong there.

The published Silmarillion, on the other hand, is by no means the finished version JRRT was aiming for. It was pieced together by Cristopher, most often using the latest stories but sometimes he had to fall back to older stories (Fall of Gondolin) or even make up some stuff (Fall of Doriath). This is because JRRT was constantly rewriting the texts and so they often became inconsistent with each other. Cristopher also had to combine two separate texts, Quenta Silmarillion and the Grey Annals, into one. All this often leads to confusion and problems when trying to find out where a phrase or a passage in the published Silmarillion really comes from.
(Not that Cristopher didn't do a good job - I really like the version because of its internal consistency, but sometimes it just is confusing people about the latest intentions of JRRT.)

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Elenhin ]</STRONG>
Confusing indeed as Melkor/Morgoth was in the beginning the most powerful Vala, saying Sauron was more powerful than Morgoth in the third Age is like saying Sauron would have been more powerful than Manwe at that time. For most of the Third Age Sauron had a lack of power, until he started to gain power again in the later part of the Third Age. Perhaps that was not meant to be inner power but a bigger army than Morgoth.

Cool Eye ikon you got there Mordor dude!
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-20-2001, 09:09 PM   #22
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In a nutshell, Morgoth had become much reduced because of the way he chose to disperse his power -- in creating things and corrupting things. Sauron, on the other hand, worked differently, and actually enhanced his own power. The division between "orders" of spirits is not actually as large as it might seem. Tolkien also said that Glorfindel, after being reincarnated, had achieved a potency of spirit possibly on par with that of a Maia.
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Old 11-20-2001, 09:37 PM   #23
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I think it depends. At the start, Melkor was stronger obviously, because he was of the Ainur and (had things gone smoothly) had the abilities to becoming part of The Valar full-time. In comparison with all this, Sauron was just a servant, an assistant, Melkor was Boss.

As far as I can remember, Melkor tried his hardest for victory and failed several times as did Sauron. But Sauron, though unsuccessful in the end, kept it up for longer and got further than Melkor.

Odds and evens weighed up I think in strength, power, armies, success, evilness etc. (not Rank/Godliness) they come out roughly even.

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Old 11-21-2001, 11:30 AM   #24
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Lúthien... very dipolmatic! Your reply gets my vote! Good answer! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-21-2001, 06:40 PM   #25
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Old 11-21-2001, 08:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lúthien:
<STRONG>I think it depends. At the start, Melkor was stronger obviously, because he was of the Ainur and (had things gone smoothly) had the abilities to becoming part of The Valar full-time. In comparison with all this, Sauron was just a servant, an assistant, Melkor was Boss.

As far as I can remember, Melkor tried his hardest for victory and failed several times as did Sauron. But Sauron, though unsuccessful in the end, kept it up for longer and got further than Melkor.

Odds and evens weighed up I think in strength, power, armies, success, evilness etc. (not Rank/Godliness) they come out roughly even.

Lúthien</STRONG>
Melkor was vala, sauron was Maia both Vala and Maia are Ainur
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Old 11-21-2001, 09:38 PM   #27
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Tolkien

I hate to sound like a grump, but this whole issue isn't really a matter of opinion since it was directly addressed by Tolkien himself. HoMe X - Morgoth's Ring, Myths Transformed contains his latest ideas.

Morgoth's original nature was greater, but his power was dispersed throughout all of Arda. Tolkien also tells us that a Vala's power naturally diminishes over time. The reason for this I won't go into. The point is that where Morgoth originally couldn't be contained by all of the Valar together (again, a Myths Transformed concept), he eventually came to the point where he was bound to a physical form and feared its death.

You can order cheaper paperback versions of the HoMe series (HarperCollins) at http://www.amazon.co.uk . Not as nice as the Mifflin hardbacks, but cheaper and cool cover art. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: obloquy ]

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Old 11-23-2001, 11:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elrian:
<STRONG>
Melkor was vala, sauron was Maia both Vala and Maia are Ainur</STRONG>
What can I say? Opps.
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Old 11-25-2001, 07:57 PM   #29
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Well I think that while Morgoth was stronger, Sauron was smarter and more cunning. So I think that while Morgoth was very smart, Sauron was smarter and when it all comes down to it the guy with the larger brains wins.
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Old 11-25-2001, 09:21 PM   #30
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Sting

It's not a question of who's smarter, it's a question in who is greater n might and power, and not physically, because Melkor would win that battle.

Was Sauron stronger than Melkor without his ring and if so, when?
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